Antipolo City- “Closed doors cannot hold charity from overflowing.” This is the mantra of the community of St. Ezekiel Moreno Novitiate-Recoletos (SEMONO-RE) as it continues to provide spiritual and physical aid to the less fortunate around the vicinity despite the insistence of the lockdown that started last March 14, 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a simple, Christian way, the community responded to the crisis through prayer, fasting and alms giving.
PRAYER helps the religious uncover the mysterious presence of God in the hearts of man so as to love all people as brothers. By prayer, the community continues to lift up prayers and supplications. The community is offering daily masses in time for the pandemic; Holy Hour for the sick for three-consecutive nights beyond the regular schedule of the same adoration; daily devotion to Nuestra Señora dela Salud along with the Holy Rosary; daily prayer of the Oratio Imperata in time of COVID-19 and other rites, both in private and in common, like the Liturgy of the Hours.
By FASTING, the community unites with those who are aggrieved by this crisis by daily having two full meals only and a light meal every supper. The members of the community are also encouraged to observe fasting through detachment from things especially those that do not really contribute to the community’s solidarity to those most affected.
And by ALMSGIVING, the community distributed relief packs to the less-privileged families in Sitio dela Paz, Sitio Alimogmog, and Bankers Subdivision. The funds used came from the budget-for-supper of the community, personal allowance of the religious and common fund of the Novices and Pre-Novices. With the grace of God, this charitable act has found support with the lay, members of SARF-Antipolo and some seminary friends who also contributed to the cause, enabling the community to carry out this activity almost every week to provide sustenance to the mentioned areas. The religious themselves were the ones who personally brought the relief packs door-to-door to the beneficiaries. So far, the community has distributed 138.5 sacks of rice, totaling to 1,385 relief packs with 5 kilos of rice.
The community’s response is well in-tune to what St. Peter Chrysologus posited: “Prayer knocks at the door, fasting obtains…and almsgiving is the life blood of fasting. These three are one, and they give life to each other. Let these three, then, be one single plea to God on our behalf.”